Friday, February 05, 2010

Thoughts about Weave Blankets

The purpose of a weave blanket is supposed to be to test all the structures (and the specific yarns) that one might want to use in a given weaving.

I've woven two weave blankets so far (see earlier posts with pictures and descriptions of the structures), and I think the definition above doesn't quite express exactly what's being tested here. The most important purpose is to demonstrate whether or not I understand on a conceptual level what the heck I'm supposed to be doing here.

So I've graded the first weave blanket as a B-, because I obviously wasn't thinking clearly when I filled areas with structures; it would have been a C- but I realized pretty quickly that I'd made a hash of it and understood exactly what needed to be done to rectify the matter.

The second weave blanket was probably a B, because at least the right wefts showed on the face of the cloth where they were supposed to, but not an A because sett and yarn choice is also part of the test, and I've decided the sett is too close and I need to select yarns of larger but softer grist so they beat in closer and cover the warp better in the weft-faced areas. I was using up small scraps of silk and tencel, not paying too much attention to hue or even grist.

Overall, I'm reasonable happy with the blankets - they did indeed teach me a lot, and although I've been a life-long nonsampler (or maybe "full sized sample" weaver is a more accurate term), my philosophy may well have changed. The samples aren't as much fun to weave as the actual pieces will be, but hopefully all the painful lessons are learned on the sample, not the real weaving.

Tomorrow, I'll resley the warp at somewhere in the mid-50-ish ends per inch range, and weave a couple of small samples to see if my assumptions are anywhere in the realm of reality.

Bob Kruger expressed concern yesterday about his team climbing in and around the loom for fear of breaking warp threads, and I told him "It'll be a while before I warp this puppy with silk; in the meantime it's gonna be cotton that I don't mind what happens. Tell them not to worry about it." As it turned out, the engineers were very careful, and the untensioned warp just swung out of the way when required (it was secured in front of the reed). No warp ends were broken, and the process of resleying should go quickly and painlessly.


Alice said...

I'm assuming from this post that the majority of your loom problems were fixed when the AVL team paid a visit. I hope your weaving is more fun from now on. Your description of the sample blanket process is interesting, as it is pretty much the same approach I follow. Blanket, corrections, another blanket, more corrections, then on to the weaving. Some weavers weave nothing but sample blankets for long periods of time, and this makes them happy!

Deb Mc said...

so, I see some type of monograph on weaving sample blankets taking place (I hope).......Deb Mc

Sandra Rude said...

No, I['ll leave that to Alice, who has much more extensive experience than I do.